UNESCO Includes Hebron on Its World Heritage List
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
On Friday, its World Heritage Committee voted 12 – 3 with six abstentions on two resolutions.
One recognized Hebron’s Old City as a World Heritage Site, the other affording the same status to the Ibrahimi mosque.
UNESCO calls heritage “our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.”
“Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world’s heritage.”
Now it includes two Occupied Palestine sites, calling Hebron a “Palestinian heritage site.” US and Israeli pressure failed to block their inclusion.
Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shamma-Hacohen stormed out of Friday’s session shamefully enraged.
Islamophobic hardline Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett outrageously accused UNESCO of “serv(ing) those who try to wipe the Jewish state off the map,” adding:
“Israel won’t renew cooperation with UNESCO as long as it continues to serve as a tool for political attacks instead of being a professional organization.”
Ultranationalist over-the-top Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman disgracefully called UNESCO “anti-Semitic whose decisions are scandalous.”
Trump contemptibly and irresponsibly tweeted “(t)his irrelevant organization (UNESCO) promotes FAKE HISTORY.”
Netanyahu announced Israel will withhold another $1 million of its membership dues to the UN, a spiteful decision.
He urged Washington to defund the organization, delusionally adding “the Palestinian Authority doesn’t seek peace but rather seeks to incite against and slander Israel.”
The Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry called UNESCO’s vote “the only logical and correct decision,” adding:
“Hebron’s Old City and holy site are under threat due to the irresponsible, illegal, and highly damaging actions of Israel, the occupying power, which maintains a regime of separation and discrimination in the city based on ethnic background and religion.”
Hebron’s Old City and Ibrahimi mosque are now considered endangered sites. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee will convene annually to evaluate their status.
The Old City is illegally occupied by hundreds of heavily protected Israeli settlers. Their presence comes at the expense of around 200,000 viciously persecuted Palestinian residents under harsh militarized rule.
UNESCO’s ruling represents rare support for fundamental Palestinian rights, ones the world community time and again ignore in deference to Israel’s apartheid oppression.
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